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Title: Loyalties and the politics of incorporation in South Africa : the case of Pondoland, c.1870-1913
Author: Bramwell, William J.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5922 1991
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis explores how various African and European actors experienced projections of imperial power, and the subsequent – though not synonymous – processes of colonial state-formation, in what was a relatively remote area on the margins of empire. Situated far away from established centres of authority in Cape Town or Pietermaritzburg, Pondoland was largely of parochial interest to imperial and colonial officials for much of the nineteenth century. As the last independent chiefdom to be annexed by the Cape, the transformations that marked the diminishing of empire and the consolidation of colonial rule had relatively little impact upon Mpondo political structures until 1894. Of course, the country was not immune to wider economic shifts or the conflagrations that erupted along an ever expanding eastern frontier. But these broader patterns of change modified, rather than undermined, the existing foundations of Mpondo political authority. Consequently, this thesis explores how these broader historical developments were perceived in Pondoland. Specifically, it seeks to examine how various Mpondo and other actors understood these processes by highlighting the contentious debates about the exercise of political authority and subjecthood they provoked. Such conversations varied across the polity; they expressed the latent loyalties and long-term rivalries within the country – cleavages which themselves reflected its jurisdictionally heterogeneous nature and the processes of differential incorporation which bound its composite communities in various ways to the Mpondo paramountcy. In examining the political dialogue that took place during Pondoland’s transition from independence to annexation, this thesis foregrounds the reconfiguration of intra-Mpondo political relations as central in determining the nature of the country’s incorporation. Moreover, it explores how these intra-Mpondo shifts were both facilitated by, and foundational to, the intersection of indigenous, colonial and imperial jurisdictional disputes in ways that fundamentally shaped the administrative and institutional character of the early colonial state.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Arts & Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: DT Africa